IRMA: Research on lubricant safety very past due

May 25, 2010

Do some currently available lubricants used for anal sex actually make it easier for HIV to be transmitted?

The answer is: we don't know.

After years of persistent advocacy by IRMA (International Rectal Microbicide Advocates), brand new research from the Microbicide Trials Network, led Charlene Dezzutti, Ph.D., is beginning to answer this critical question.

Today at the 2010 International Microbicides Conference in Pittsburgh, Dezzutti presented the results of tests conducted with five of the most widely used lubricants, chosen from the results of an IRMA web-based survey that collected information on the lubricant preferences of nearly 9,000 men and women from over 100 countries. Dezzutti's findings indicated that some of the products studied had on cells and rectal tissue.

"We know we can't make any conclusions based on this one small study," said IRMA Steering Committee member Marc-André LeBlanc who leads IRMA's lubricant safety advocacy. "Further research is absolutely necessary to understand the potential role of sexual lubricants in HIV transmission. We should be able to provide consumer guidance regarding lubes that are found to be safer than others."

In the meantime, it's important to note that lubricant availability tends to translate into higher rates of condom use among people who engage in anal intercourse. The use of condoms with condom-compatible lubricants remains the gold standard for preventing the sexual transmission of HIV.

"Some lubes are probably better than others, but we don't know where any of the currently available products fall along the spectrum from good to bad," stated Jim Pickett, IRMA Chair. "While we push for a safe and effective rectal , we must ensure that existing lubes don't facilitate transmission. People have a right to this kind of information, and it's very past due."

Explore further: Bacterial communities of female genital tract have impact on inflammation, HIV risk

Related Stories

Anti-HIV gel shows promise in large-scale study in women

Feb 09, 2009

An investigational vaginal gel intended to prevent HIV infection in women has demonstrated encouraging signs of success in a clinical trial conducted in Africa and the United States. Findings of the recently concluded study, ...

A dangerous precedent in HIV

Jul 29, 2008

Infection with HIV could quadruple in certain populations if people with HIV follow potentially misleading advice contained in a statement from the Swiss Federal Commission for HIV/AIDS, University of New South Wales (UNSW) ...

Recommended for you

HIV reservoirs remain obstacles to cure

May 19, 2015

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has proven lifesaving for people infected with HIV; however, the medications are a lifelong necessity for most HIV-infected individuals and present practical, logistical, economic ...

Microclinics help keep Kenyan HIV patients in care

May 18, 2015

A team led by researchers from UC San Francisco, Organic Health Response, and Microclinic International is reporting results of a study that showed significant benefits of microclinics—an innovative intervention ...

'Redesigned' antibodies may control HIV

May 18, 2015

With the help of a computer program called "Rosetta," researchers at Vanderbilt University have "redesigned" an antibody that has increased potency and can neutralize more strains of the AIDS-causing human ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.